What is our goal as we facilitate a Q Place? Are we trying to convert people? Are we trying to convince them of the truth of Christianity? Exactly how are we helping people in our Q Place find God?
When I use my computer to look for the definition of what it means to facilitate, my search turns up this: “to make easier, to make possible, to smooth the way for; enable, assist, help (along), aid, expedite, further, advance, be a catalyst for.”
I liken facilitating to enlisting a mountain guide to help you have the exhilarating experience of climbing one of the fifty-three 14,000 foot+ peaks (known as “fourteeners”), here in Colorado where I live. Being a newcomer to this mountainous state, if I were to try to climb one of these monoliths, I’d definitely need someone who would help me over the rough spots, show me the best way to get to the top, suggest what to wear, what equipment to bring (or not bring), when to start, and when to get off that mountain because of pending storms.
What I wouldn’t want that guide to do? Just grab my camera, leave me behind, run to the summit, take panoramic photos, come back down and hand me back my camera—where I’ve been waiting—at the end of the day. Nor would I want the guide to nag me to hurry up, stand behind and push me up the mountain, cajole, or impede my progress in any way. That would rob me of the joy of accomplishment and the joy of discovery.
It’s the same in a Q Place. People want a safe place where they can discover for themselves, at a pace that’s a good fit for them. The initiator/facilitator’s job is to enable that to happen. Facilitators set the tone and provide boundaries for the group’s discussions using the Q Place guidelines and a great set of questions. That way, they help the group to explore and experience the thrill of making discoveries about life, God, and the Bible.
And the cool thing is that the Ultimate Guide or Facilitator—the Holy Spirit—is right there with the initiators to help them!
What freedom to know that our task is simply to help everyone get started, to create a safe place—an atmosphere of personal dignity and respect—so that participants can hear God speak to them. And if they are open to Him, He surely will!
SW Regional Catalyst